Health and Well-being

Health and Social Care Reform in Birmingham

In February 2013, the University of Birmingham held an event which focussed on the Birmingham context of health and social care reform, in advance of the changing responsibilities for public health..

In thinking about how we might best proceed with health and social care reform across the city we believe it is important that we learn from the past.  So we brought together a key set of stakeholders from across the city (and some neighbouring boroughs) to consider what has helped to make health and social care reform work in the past.  The kinds of issues considered were: 

  • What do we need to take account of when designing future health and social care services in the city?
  • What factors are specific to Birmingham in shaping health and social care reform?
  • What previous initiatives have worked well and why?
  • What initiatives have not worked and what can we learn from this?
  • How did previous reorganisations and periods of financial challenge affect inter-agency relationships and what can we learn from this for the current context?

A summary paper of the discussions is available here: Summary Paper - Health and Social Care,280313 (PDF 385kb)


The NHS is currently undergoing the implementation of one of the biggest reorganisations in its history at a time when it is facing significant financial pressures.  Local authorities are also facing massive challenges, with the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Sir Albert Bore suggesting that this is the ‘end of local government as we know it’.  The introduction of clinical commissioning groups, the NHS Commissioning Board, the transfer of public health responsibilities and the expansion of Foundation Trusts are dramatically altering the infrastructure of health services. 

At the same time, activity surrounding the publication of the Francis Report into the Mid-Staffordshire failings, ongoing discussions about the collapse of care home operator Southern Cross and the abuse uncovered at Winterbourne View mean that there are serious debates to be had about how we might best reform long-term care – and major financial pressures within the social care system.